Natural Disasters

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The World’s First Seasonal Lightning Forecast

At about 250 lightning flashes per square kilometer per year, the Lake Maracaibo Basin in northwestern Venezuela has the highest annual lightning rate of any place in the world.

by |July 6, 2016
A side view of the June 28, 2016, Glacier Bay landslide. Photo: Paul Swanstrom/Mountain Flying Service.

Massive Landslide Detected in Glacier Bay’s Fragile Mountains

A 4,000-foot-high mountainside collapsed in Glacier Bay National Park this week in a massive landslide that spread debris for miles across the glacier below. Scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are studying it to improve understanding of landslide risks.

by |July 2, 2016
Karolina Walęcik

Student Helps Engage Youth in Nepal’s Earthquake Recovery

Karolina Walęcik, a recently graduated MPA-DP student from the class of 2016, spent her summer field placement on a post-earthquake aid transparency project with the Accountability Lab in Kathmandu, Nepal.

by |June 2, 2016

Accounting for Volcanoes Using Tools of Economics

Climate scientists teamed up with an econometrics expert to develop an innovative new method for picking out past volcanic eruptions in temperature reconstructions going back millennia and gauging their impact on the climate.

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Syria’s Drought Likely Its Most Severe in More than 900 Years

“If climate change is having an impact and is making droughts worse, then we should see this in the record over several centuries—and we do,” said the study’s author, Benjamin Cook.

by |March 1, 2016
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Ready for Natural Disasters? Not So Much

A new survey of American households finds two-thirds lack adequate plans and supplies for a disaster, and half of them are not confident in the ability of government to meet the needs of children in a disaster.

by |February 9, 2016
Enhanced infrared satellite imagery (VIIRS) of Hurricane Patricia, at ~4 AM Thursday October 22 (left) and ~5 AM Friday October 23 (right). Brighter colors represent higher cloud tops, indicating a stronger storm.

Fast-Building Storms Play Key Role in Tropical Cyclone Risk

In studying climate and tropical cyclones, researchers find a weather phenomenon at play.

by |February 4, 2016
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Without the Montreal Protocol, More Intense Tropical Cyclones

Using one of the most advanced atmospheric computer models available, scientists compared our expected future with a scenario in which ozone-depleting substances had never been regulated.

by |February 1, 2016
A 200 million ton landslide on Oct. 17 local time in Icy Bay, Alaska, landed on the toe of Tyndall Glacier and in the water of Taan Fiord. It was detected by seismologists on the other side of the country. NASA Image

Detecting Landslides from a Few Seismic Wiggles

Over the last six years, seismologists Göran Ekström and Colin Stark have been perfecting a technique for picking out the seismic signature of large landslides. They just discovered North America’s largest known landslide in many years – 200 million tons of sliding rock in Alaska.

by |December 18, 2015
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Testing the Speed of Lava: What It Says about Escape Times & Mars

Elise Rumpf’s lava flow simulations are yielding new details about the velocity of lava over different surfaces. They may also hold clues about the surfaces of other planets.

by |December 14, 2015